Randy Couture Reveals Why CM Punk’s UFC Career Failed


While CM Punk was on his seven-year hiatus from professional wrestling, the star had a brief and ultimately unsuccessful foray into the world of Mixed Martial Arts.

The straight-edge star had his first fight on September 10th, 2016 against Mickey Gall at UFC 203. Punk lost early in the first round when Gall caught him in a Rear-Naked Choke, forcing a submission.

His second and final fight came almost two years later on June 9th, 2018, when he faced Mike Jackson at UFC 225 in Chicago. CM Punk fared better this time, lasting three rounds but ultimately losing by unanimous decision. However, this was later overturned and declared a No Contest after Jackson tested positive for marijuana.

Randy Couture compares CM Punk to Brock Lesnar

Before Punk stepped in the octagon, there was another pro wrestling star who had a much more successful career in MMA, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.

One of Lesnar’s opponents and a legend in the sport, Randy Couture, recently looked back on his fight with The Beast Incarnate on 2000 Percent Raise with John Cerasani.

“I think I was on my way to winning that fight, for sure. I had a plan to try and make him wrestle me and use my Greco (Roman wrestling) background. In that first round, I had him up and he had to grab the fence, probably would have hit the deck, and it might have been a different night from that point.

“He’s a huge guy and a very athletic guy, an NCAA Champion from Minnesota. At 290 pounds, he’s as athletic as they come, a very rare thing for a guy that size. A great wrestling background. I knew that anytime I faced another wrestler, it was going to negate an advantage I had against others.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge and with his size, I had to find big partners that could simulate him as much as possible. That was a big challenge because not a lot of guys his size could move. I could find big bodies, but they weren’t nearly as athletic as he is.”

At this point in the conversation, Couture noted that Lesnar was a “legitimate athlete” and that set him apart from Punk when it came to MMA. The star claimed not having an amateur wrestling background is what hurt his prospects in the sport.

“He was a legitimate athlete, not just a WWE…we saw with CM Punk and what happened with him trying to make that same transition. CM didn’t have that wrestling background to rely on to get him through some of the tougher spots and it didn’t go well.”

H/T to Fightful for the above transcription